By | March 12, 2010 130 Comments

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Our relationship had three distinct phases

Editor’s Note: This story was submitted by a Lovefraud reader who we’ll call “Marcia.”

I met him on in February of 2009. He wrote to me through the site and we corresponded several times before speaking on the phone. I liked his profile very well and enjoyed his style of writing and what he wrote in our correspondence. When we spoke on the phone, we had no problem starting and maintaining a conversation on the phone. He was articulate, intelligent and had all the time in the world for me.

We met on March 6, 2009 for a drink. I got there first and very symbolic of our relationship, he blindsided me and sneaked behind me and playfully grabbed the back of my neck. The attraction and chemistry was immediate. He was extremely charming. He looked into my eyes with such a piercing look that I felt he was seeing through me. He was fun. He made me laugh. He treated me like a gentleman. He had a great energy. I just enjoyed being around him and with him all the time.

That very same night we had dinner together and made love. Since I was an hour away from him, I was staying at a hotel that night. So he stayed with me and we had a wonderful and relaxing breakfast on the porch next morning. When I was leaving he asked me if I could see him next day. I was coming to town to see a ballet with my girlfriend so we decided to have dinner with my girlfriend. He invited me to stay at his place that night and I accepted.

Lavish flattery

Lavish flattery began immediately. There was nothing I could do wrong. I was sexy, I was beautiful, I was attractive, my energy was great, it was fun to be around me, I was the best mother, I was the best doctor, I was the best lover, I was the best friend, I had great taste for clothing and jewelry, nobody has ever loved him like I did, he had never loved anyone like he loved me, he would marry me in a heartbeat, finally he had found the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, that is why he had never settled down before, he did not want to settle for less, and I was the proof he was right to wait for the right person.

Every time he would see me, he couldn’t catch his breath (he was such a great actor, there was a visible pause in the movement of his chest). I was wise, I was brave, I was evolved, I was everything he would ever wanted from a woman. I was funny. He had such a great time with me no matter what we did together. I was fit. I was strong. He would send me fifty text messages a day telling me how much he loved me and how much he missed me and how even exchanging text messages he would be aroused, and how he was so attracted to me. He would bring me roses, buy me jewelry, music, wine, etc.

The pity play

Pity play began almost at the same time. He told me how abusive his parents were. How his mom used to scream at him and beat him. How his father was always dissatisfied with him and how he was refusing to tell him that he was proud of him to this day. How his parents’ divorce when he was 20 affected him because he was put in the middle. And then it was his wife and how she cheated on him with many men including his closest friends, and how she got pregnant many times and had an abortion every time, how he knew it was because those were not his children, how she gave him a genital wart and he had to have surgery to remove it. Then it was his ex-girlfriend and how she was dependent on drugs and him and she would not let go of him and how he could not leave her because everyone in her family had abandoned her after she had disclosed that she had been sexually abused by a family member. And how his boss was treating him just like his dad did and how abusive the boss was, etc.

From that point on, we had four months of amazing time together. Retrospectively that was the “honeymoon phase of our relationship.” Also retrospectively I see that things were moving very fast. Only a week after we met, he was telling his mother that he has found the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with and in the first month of our relationship he bought me a ring as a present. It was not an engagement ring and he did not propose but he emphasized that he had never given a woman a ring before.

Many women

Very quickly he started introducing me to his friends. He “could not wait.” We went and visited his mom in Rhode Island for Mother’s Day and she liked me and my seven-year old daughter very much. She told him “she is beautiful not only on the outside but inside.” In that trip I also met his father, his stepmother, and two of his three brothers. During my visit, his mom told me that he has brought so many women home that she had told him “no more women unless they have a ring on their hand.” I looked at him, he laughed and pointed to the ring and said, “she has a ring.”

That was the very first time I questioned him. I told him I thought taking me to his mom was something special. He became very defensive and angry. He said after his wife of five years left him 18 years earlier, he had been single and dating and “naturally” had met many women. He said he had taken about five of them home but not to introduce to his mom. He just invited them to join him in the trip to his hometown. He said he had taken only two women to introduce to his mom as people he had considered marrying. He was upset with me for a couple of days after we returned but then sent me an email and apologized for his mother’s “insensitive” remark and his own as well.

On another occasion when we were staying with one of his friends when his friend’s 8-year-old daughter asked him why he did not bring his “other girlfriends.” He asked who she was talking about and she named a few names! He did not respond but I immediately felt like a number and completely disposable. I discussed how it made me feel with him but his universal response was anger and blaming things on me, my “insecurity,” my “fears,” etc.

Borrowing money

Very soon he prepared me for borrowing money. He told me how someone had scammed him on paying his student loans and how he had all this debt to pay but it was all going to be clear in a couple of months. How he had been helping a friend in advertising for his business and how he was not paying him and how there were thousands of dollars he would be receiving soon from him. How he was so responsible with money and he would never use a credit card and only use debit card so he knows he only spends the money he has. How he would appreciate it if I put costs of all the activities we were doing together on my credit cards and once his student loan is clear, he would pay me back. Soon he would ask me to put charges related to his canoe club on my credit card promising that once he collects money from members of the club, he would pay me back. Once his boss fired him, he could not pay for his bills and rent and he would insist that he could not borrow money from me. He had gained my trust at such a deep level that I handed him a blank signed check and then he wrote close to $2000 and cashed it. Later on when I asked him to pay me back, he said he neither had the money to pay me back nor he owed me any money.

Three phases

As described in any typical relationship with a sociopath/narcissist, our relationship had three distinct phases: honeymoon, tension building, and finally violent phase.

In the honeymoon phase even when we text messaged or talked he would get aroused. Whenever he saw me, whether it was an act or a true reaction, I could visibly see his chest would stop moving and he would take a deep breath and would tell me, “you take my breath away.” He could not keep his hands off me and we made love twice a day when we were together.

In the tension-building phase, our sex life suddenly went from what I would rate 10 out of 10 to 1 out of 10. This was so sudden and so drastic that I suspected he might have developed erectile dysfunction. He no longer initiated having sex with me and when I did, 9 out of 10 times he would say he was “tired.” Other excuses included being “busy” or “depressed.”

This went on until November when I found hundreds of pictures of naked women he was having “cybersex” with on his laptop. There were some emails suggesting he had invited these women to meet and have a drink and “see where it goes” but I had no proof this had actually had happened. He adamantly denied having a physical relationship with any of them. I broke up with him for a week but he asked for forgiveness, cried and said he has had sex-addiction for five years and now is going to get help and promised he would stop doing it right away. I got back with him but our sexual relationship never improved.


Regardless of how legitimate my question or concern was, his very first reaction was always becoming defensive and turning things around and attacking me. This was always followed by a few days of completely shutting me off, not contacting me and even ignoring me when I reached out. Early on in our relationship, after a couple of days, he would contact me and apologize for his reaction. But after the honeymoon phase, the days he would shut me out became longer and longer and no apology was offered. Instead, over time he would build up a grudge and become punitive. In response to many red flags in his behavior, he would accuse me of being insecure, having fear-based reactions, having no impulse control, blowing small things up to huge problems, being depressed, being anxious, not exercising enough, at one time sleeping too much, in another time sleeping too little, lack of self-confidence, etc. At the end he said I was crazy, I was fucked up, I had taken joy out of his life, I had brought negative energy into his life, I had made him depressed, he was not excited to see me anymore, he did not want to be around me and he wanted me out of his life.

By then I had recognized how self-centered he was. It was never about me and my needs. It was only and always about him and no matter how much I gave, he would feel his “deeper needs were not fulfilled.”

Violent phase

The relationship moved into violent phase and beginning mid January, on multiple occasions he tried to hit me and even choke me. This was particularly dangerous three weeks ago when I discovered many text messages on his cell phone indicating he has been sleeping with multiple women during our relationship. When confronted him, he described details of his sexual relationship with this women behind my back, without protection, like he was talking about weather. He had no remorse and no shame and did not offer an apology. He hurt me with such a righteous indignation and entitlement that it was beyond my comprehension. His absolute callous disregard for my feelings and legitimate needs were astonishing. He continued to blame everything, including his cheating and lying to me, on me.

Upon discovery of undeniable truth on his text messages and speaking with the women involved, I left him. I did file a police report but he lied through his teeth and police did not pursue the investigation. Following the tactic of offense is the best defense, he did file multiple police reports on me including one of harassment. He also filed for a protective order, which was denied. Currently I am suing him in Small Claims Court for the money he owes me.

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Elizabeth Conley

“Following the tactic of offense is the best defense, he did file multiple police reports on me including one of harassment. He also filed for a protective order, which was denied. ”

Classic. I’m sorry you went through this.

Ox Drover

Dear Marcia,

Welcome to lf, It seems that you have the stages or phases of the P-relationship figured out pretty well and you described them well.

It seems the 3 phases are there whether they are each 1 week long or 3 months long or a decade longl, they are all the “same” Your article spells them out very clearly. Thanks for sharing. Glad you are here!


((((Oxy, Aeylah….))))) – thanks 🙂

Just wanted to update… my son was admitted for dehydration, keytones and uncontrollable vomiting. to the point they had to rule out appendicitis – of all things! Im happy to report he was discharged this morning and we are now going to catch up on missed sleep. He has 12-24 more hours to go, but the I.V. Fluids and dextrose water has given us the jumpstart he needed to stay ahead of it. So glad I went, I knew it wasnt something we could keep up with at home. FYI – the docs said its one of the most terrible bugs theyve seen in a while with profuse vomiting for many. Be well, stay safe everyone and thanks for the prayers. I hope everyone is having a peaceful day as possible. Nite



Your articulation of the phases really nails it for me.

I got to sidestep the last one because the good guys were also looking for him.

OX raised the concern about the last phase in an earlier discussion about the phase three. I do think about that.

The idea that they wouldn’t must be mitigated by the realization that they very well can.

Without remorse. Without compassion.


LTL, Thoughts with you for your son’s healing. Sounds bad and sounds like you did the right thing in time for him.


Thank you Donna for great job editting my post and posting it. Thanks everybody for your comments. For me, studying sociopathy, narcissism and sex addiction was therapeutic because I was able to answer my many unanswered questions. I am glad I can share this with the rest in case it helps anyone else to recover, understand and heal. What I have not been able to do yet, is forgiveness but am working on it.
LF has been an amazing resource and has helped me tremendously. Thanks again Donna!



I will start with this…did this happen in Illinois because I do believe we dated the same person…possibly.

Next, I am sick to my stomache first and foremost, however, there is a strange sense of relief from reading your post. With the exception of the violent phase and the sociopath ACTAULLY borrowning money from me (he had no loans because he was a hs dropout) I had a VEEEEEEERY similar experience…even the way you described his ‘courting’ you and the ring (I got one for sweetist day our first year together and he claimed to ‘have never’ given a ring before).

As I read your post, I pictured the experience I had with the spath in my minds eye and whta I was thinking and feeling during all those times. Much of what was thought was ‘damn, I hit the jackpot here’. Most of our ‘relationship’ was, in my opinion, based on how much sex he could get from me first off, and then anything and everything else he wanted, thought he needed and demanded. The way I felt after realizing he viewed me as an object is unlike anything Ive ever felt. I had no problems ‘creating’ a fight by telling him NO about sex, however, it seemed my boundaries were usually ignored when telling him NO about other things. He REALLY hated to hear the word NO.

Thank you for the post…it is a wonderful gift to LF.

Twice Betrayed

Oh boy, been there, done that…..
Glad you are here on LF and out of that toxic relationship.


Sounds all to familiar. I got the whole “you are the greatest thing that ever happened to me”, “I have been waiting for you my whole life”, “how could anyone let you go” then the sob stories started–my ex wife took all my money, so many people owe me money, I just need help with this one bill, etc, etc. Then the fact that I was told that he had cheated many times on his ex but I didn’t want to believe it because he told me that she would say anything to break us up. I chose to believe that but it all turned out to be true. Makes you sick to your stomach for sure. You felt that he was so special and then you find out that you are just a mark for him. He walks away owing you lots of money, emotionally spent and feeling like crap that you are easily expendable to him. No looking back for them, when you don’t meet their needs you are history and then they have the nerve to blame you for being deficient in some way, you just don’t “do it” for them anymore–ie. you wised up and starting questioning them about the inconsistencies in their story, asked for your money back, wondering about the other women in their lives. Ughh just sickening.


Same thing with me… starting with adoration “you are so amazing” you are exceptional” “I can’t believe how lucky I am to have found you”……4-5 months of this, and then quickly afterward showing hints of her true self… saying something hurtful, the following with a apology….. the hurtful comments or actions increasing, then no apology… then actually projecting her bad behavoir upon me and blaming me, or saying I was making a big deal “out of nothing”….crazy fights from out of nowhere… shocking…drama…..3-4 months of that.. then the rapid devaluation along with cutting words.. dirty looks, inconsistant behavoir, like two totally different people……2 months of that……….then gone………….toxic relationship… you bet…. and a blessing it did not last longer…..

Thanks for sharing your story Marcia…. it’s so textbook, but yet nobody here could blame you , me or anyone for getting sucked in… the beauty is that for most all of us….. it will never happen again.


I got the same hurtful comments, the I am sorrys, his acting out always was always my fault, something I hadn’t done(always for him), it wouldn’t have happened if I had just said/done this. I was always overreacting, making big deals out of nothing, overthinking, etc. They are so out of the same mold.


Yup! same mold ….it’s amazing all the similarities in our experiences and stories.

Even Marci’s story of the S taking all his women to meet his mother, rings so true for me…..the S in my life did the same….with no time inbetween relationships of going by himself. Yup….a week after I dumped his lying ass to the curb, he was taking the old GF now new again GF over there (the one he was cheating on me with)…it was down right funny becuase his elederly father couldn’t keep up with the names of all the women he took over there, so he would confuse me and call me someone elses name!

I confronted him and his parents one time about this, and what amazed me, was how his family defended him and enabled him….again and again.


I used to get so mad because his mother for 12 years called me the wrong name. She is a huge part of the reason he is the way he is and she will defend and enable him in all that he does. She would tell me that she couldn’t stand the way he treated me but then every time he walked out on me, she would get nasty with me. She just had his new girlfriend over for dinner just weeks after I was crying hysterically that he had cheated on me and she told me that she didn’t know anything about him being with someone else.

kim frederick

Well, if it helps in any way she probably called him, and all his GF’s by the wrong name too.


Interesting how their mothers come to their rescue and are so enabling! I think your right JEL….sometimes it is because of the way thier mothers and or fathers are….they are in complete denayal or they are N/S/P’s themselves!

Ox Drover

Hey Southernman! Glad to see you! Hope all is well with you!

Speaking of “text book” tonight I watched 48 hours about Della Sitorous “The Doctor’s Wife” who killed husband number 5, and her family and ex husbands described her like it was right off of LF–she comes up for parole in 2013 (23 years to life was sentence) The descriptions of her even as a child manipulating her sister at a very young age by threatening to kill either her mother or her baby brother, sounds like she was an “early blooming” psychopath, but in the reporting they never called her THE P-WORD even once.

Called her every nasty word in the world except the P-WORD. I’m with Autistic Souls-Mike, we need an awareness campaign.

Be interesting to see what the DSM V turns out to be, maybe that will be a good start!


Yes , be so this be so. mine Mike be so wanting to save at risk child peoples. and be so awareness be so needed for early intervention.

be so maybe awarenes be so peoples save themselves from being involved in pretender breeds. be so naught have children by themselves, less family court, yes. pretender breeds do naught come with a warning label attached, no. we be so must advertise it.

it be so everyday peoples naught wanting of saying the P-word. G-d forbid we be so might bring injury to pretender’s sensitivities. perhap’s naught p-word allowed be so maybe “Scorned by G-d”

this be PC madness. when naught call what it be what it be? it be naught treated or dealt with. be so soon an exodus into this LF haven.

be so with aggresive awareness we be make genetic testing to eliminate the genes be so involved. gene manipulation. destroy or manipulate genes that be so lead to pretenders. be so like developing weed killers.

be you know mike put you in a viking suit by some bulls are they?

Kathy soul look dainty. you not so much. be so more a valkrie look.



Thanks Marcia for sharing your story – it is unbelievable for all of us when it gradually unfolds and gradual is the key word here. If they openly hit us or played mind games on the first night most of us would have been out of there like a shot. But because it is gradual we don’t notice as we go along how very bad the relationship is getting – like boiling a frog alive in a pot of water.

you start with boiling water the frog will jump straight out but if you start with cold water and gradually increase the temperature, the frog will be lulled into a sense of safety and security. That analogy really speaks to my situation with the PSYCHOPATH ex. The behaviours and attitudes and abuse escalated so gradually that by the time I noticed how terrible the whole sum was, it was too late for me to escape as I was so weakened and depressed by the abuse.

Unfortunately mine didn’t dump me – he was determined there was nothing wrong with the relationship and my legitimate unhappiness was a problem with perception. If he thought it was alright then it must be alright. I had to end it and he hoovered me back in several times before I managed to end it for good. I am so glad to be away from him and continue to learn all I can about psychopathy, sociopathy and personality disorders in general. I NEVER want to end up in another of these crazymaking relationships ever again! Once is more than enough for me.

Dear Midlife et al, Your comment

“The behaviours and attitudes and abuse escalated so gradually that by the time I noticed how terrible the whole sum was, it was too late for me to escape as I was so weakened and depressed by the abuse.”

Could not more accurately depict my experince. Mine was a very subtle P, in the sense that there was very little visible drama, nothing violent (well once), and his moods were very very even.

A little bit of fake cheer, papering over an obsession with talking about the $$, business etc. All that went from extreme highs to terrible crisis, follwed by some more highs, some more crisis. He always the victim of others jealously of his abilities and superior knowledge etc. He would talk to in a very blank, controlled emotionless fashion about things that would make my head spin. I would be frantic with worry and he would calmly turn on the TV and go into his cage. Him appearing stoic, strong, manly…me the nervous nellie, stressed, fearful.

Eventually I saw a pattern and realized something was off, but still believed he loved me, and was doing his best. At the end, I told him he was either abusing me, and lying about our circumstances, or abusing himself. His eyes kind of pooped wide open with tht. A rare occurance. No other sign. Not a word.

Only AFTER we split when I started to dig, well you all know, the avalanche of lies and deception, the whole shebang.

So they do come in all shapes and sizes.

What has been amazing me, is that during most of my marriage, from about year three, I started to feel very “off” when interacting with stranger. Unsure of how to speak, behave, shy, awkward, uncomfortable. Weird. I mean with shopkeepers, new aquaintences, cab drivers. I was just always anxious and uncomfortable.

It dawned on me about six months post split, as I started to heal ever so slightly, that that was my gut….my gut knew I was living a lie,,my gut knew I was not projecting an honest me…or that I did not know who me was…my gut knew that being the Mrs. of him put me in an untenable situation. Rather than seek the source…because I would have to unbelieve what I needed to believe, I internalized it all. I was weak and needy, drank to much and couldn’t take the heat. He was strong!

Setting aside for a moment the very real practical issues of raising my kids etc.. I realized lately that there was something else that kept me in the dark and allowed me to be victimized systemically, sadistically, for years and years.

It was my own belief and confidence in my smarts and abilities. I fought back, debated, argued, smacked him down, told him off. I was no pushover. Hell no…I was taking him on, standing my ground, insisting I was his equal.

By allowing my self to believe I was in a fair fight, that I was one side of a two sided story, I enabled everything he ever did.
Fell for the classic fairness trap, when one side is lying.
And truth be told, even tho’ the fairy tale had long since been hollowed out, hung on to the dream of a fix.. a final stage that was just around the corner of peace and hapiness…once he got that next crisis sorted, or that deal done.

There is a book, that unfortunately cost me years of misdirection, called “I don’t want to talk about it” a very good book, on male depression. I spent years convinced that that was the problem. Just had to help him fix that. That is why he was flat and unemotional and blank and vacant.

In any event, one case study in the book is about the business type, just like mine. The hyper aggressive, abitious, philandering, master of the universe type. And the author concludes ” No woman in her right mind stays with a man life this forever”. On some level I knew the author was correct.

I think there is a good cocaine analogy with these creatures.
They start out giving us the best high we have ever had…knowing that we will stick around for a long time, and do lots of their biding,,attempting to re-capture that first stage.

They in turn, are also addicted to the high of manipulating and exploiting, outwitting and “outsmarting” their prey…playing with us like the boy with the spider.

The old “never look a gift horse in the mouth” wisdom is certainly turned on it’s head with these creatures.

Never again. Towanda.


It’s amazing how all these guys sound so completely alike. The whole beginning of the relationship was IDENTICAL to mine. The flattery and you are the woman of my dreams. I want to be with you forever. What about your wife-why are you still with her. She stayed with me all through my medical training so I can’t just leave her. This man said whatever he had to say to me to get me to just ignore that. Don’t worry, you have the best part of me. I have nothing in common with her. We haven’t been intimate in over 6 years. He had open heart bypass surgery 6 years before meeting me. After surgery, he told the wife he was impotent and they stopped having sex. I ended up speaking with her after she found out about us and she said that is was true that they were no longer intimate. I think so it would be OK for him to sleep with someone else-I was the someone else. He told me when we were first together and I had doubts, that he had NEVER stepped out on her before and that I was the first one. He couldn’t help it because we were friends and he fell in love with me. He said that he had never met anyone prior to me that could make him step out. He said that he NEVER had feelings for her that he has for me-it goes on and on. I find out in the end that I was the fourth younger woman that he had done this to and all of the other three relationships were approached exactly the same. THe wife did think that he actually loved ME though, because the other ones were little flings and our relationship was a year and would have continued if she hadn’t accidently found the text message from me when he was in the shower. I’m glad now that she found it. I could have been subjected to this for years. The day before she found the message, he was all worked up because he was afraid that their 25th anniversary was going to fall on the same week as my graduation from the police academy. SHE had been talking to him about taking a trip and he didn’t want to go. He said that there was NO WAY IN HELL that he was missing my graduation because he was supposed to pin my badge on me for the first time.
The reason why I am so ANGRY still is that graduation never happened for me. He discarded right before I started. He was living with me and promised to help financially because I was taking a BIG paycut to follow my dream. I trust that he would be there and did not move to downsize my life and had NO CLUE that I would have to live like that-spur of the moment. I started my class but I couldn’t stay in it. I lost my expensive apartment cuz I couldn’t pay the rent. Being in that kind of intensive training and studying environment while being homeless was not an option.
Now I am back in the career I despise making the $$$ and downsizing everything so I can go back on my own. Cheap apartment, paying off bills, paying off car-anything and everything I have to do-building up savings. That’s why I’m so hateful right now. I would have my dream of being a police officer if it weren’t for him and that horrible relationship. He was the one who also encouraged me to follow that dream. He was dying to have a girlfriend who was a cop-maybe it was the uniform. He was planning to buy me the top of the line bullet proof vest that cost $5000 and I ask for that. He came over with all this information about it. I am NEVER letting ANYONE do this for me again. My police captain boss who is my mentor said” You DO not need him”. She said that you are plenty enough as a woman all by yourself!


OMG ANITASEE – you just nailed something for me – the anxiety in interacting with people that weren’t him. I had exactly the same experience and can see that you are right in your assessment that this was our gut talking and we felt like phonies.

I always knew I was anxious all the time after the first few crises he brought into the marriage, but I attributed it to the shame of the financial disasters he had created and my need to present a ‘normal’ and ‘happy’ facade of the relationship and my role inside it to the outside world.

This anxiety is another distancing technique for isolating victims – I lost all my friends when with him and was never able to make any new friends. I was too on edge and people didn’t want to hang out with me – the knowledge of this made me feel even more anxious and ill at ease with people, which created a vicious circle – the more anxious I was, the less people enjoyed my company.

It was a very weird phenomenon as I always had lots of friends and since going no contact have been able to make and sustain new nurturing friendships despite the belief I developed as a result of this experience that I was somehow defective and socially cursed. You’ve hit it on the head with your assessment that we were ill at ease in the role we were playing – I can see it now so clearly.

I like you didn’t take the abuse lying down and thought I was engaged in a fair fight with him – he gave the appearance of ‘having my back’ and would then subtly sabotage me so everything failed.

I also believed the problem was that he was depressed and even went as far as to research it,, take us both to the doctor and get us both on anti depressants. He claimed they were marvellous but stopped taking them after a while. I felt my depression was a direct result of the relationship, but he eventually talked me into believing I had always been depressed and that’s why there were problems in the relationship – circular argument that effectively took the heat off him as the cause of everything turning sour.

He had those flat moods you described – no excitement or enthusiasm or energy. Just always quiet with a resentment simmering below the surface. Anger was never far away.

Mine also wasn’t openly violent although he would engage in power games such as wrestling or tickling. His abuse was mostly emotional and psychological, financial and academic. It was subtle to start with – he would make out he had made a ‘mistake’ or an error of judgement and don’t we all make those???

Everything had an excuse and everything was the fault of someone else. If he didn’t keep enough money to pay a bill he had offered to pay then it was my fault for not reminding him about it. If he didn’t do something he promised he would then it was because he ‘forgot’. If there was a problem at work it was always someone else’s fault – never him. So everything was rationalised away and any time I tried to point out the pattern that was emerging over time, I was shot down for ‘dragging up the past’ … he knew the self help lingo inside out despite the fact he had never picked up a single book about relationships to read.

Any time I accused him of not being supportive of me, he would respond by asking what he was meant to do? Everything you asked him to do was such a drag to him that in the end I just stopped asking and did everything myself. He spent all the money and took away all my options to do anything different in my life for years and years. But any time I complained about never being able to go out anywhere he would retort “I stopped making arrangements for outings because you can never decide where you want to go.” And with no witness my denial was weak as water and easy for him to ignore.

He rewrote history saying things happened that didn’t – ie things to make himself look good like “I helped out with the housework all weekend the other week” – in truth he might have dried the dishes after four weeks of nagging or mopped the floor after a month of ‘reminding’.

Any time I threatened to really end it, he would iimprove ever so slightly for a few days then claim he had reinvented himself totally offering his minor changes as evidence then revert back to his normal selfish self absorbed self. So there was always a grain of truth in his grandiose claims of improvement and this made it very difficult to point out that nothing was ever changing.

TRuth be told I also held on for the perfect relationship we had in the beginning that was just around the corner if I could just find the right book, or article or approach or just do more for him or be more or … it was never enough. I remember asking him early on in the marriage

“When is it enough so I can leave you? When will I have taken enough so I can walk away?”

For some stupid reason the only measure of a bad man I had in my mind was one who hit me and he made damned sure never to do that. Instead he murdered my soul in far more creative and subtle ways. I actually begged him to hit me on several occasions so I could walk away from him and each time he would clench his jaw, smile at me and clench his hands into fists at the sides of his body.

There is so much more than this, but these are the things that reading your post brought up for me. He was subtle – subtle is the word – he wasn’t an open criminal, he wasn’t doing drugs or beating me or openly stealing from my wallet – he held down a job and contributed the bare minimum to the household … and even less to the relationship. Our dynamic changed markedly on the day we married and even guests noticed the change in his temperament. Once he had me I was a captive in the house to be tossed to and fro according to his whims. There was no need for effort – he knew I was a smart capable woman who would do whatever it took to save my marriage – still held onto the Christian ideal that marriage is for life and the wifely role is one of deference to her husband. he had me right where he wanted me.

I have now been no contact for almost four months though the relationship was over a long time before that. I feel so much better now – life has done a complete 360 turn from that place I was in with him. I was suicidal for several years – everything that I tried turned to custard with his input and neglect and it was like a puzzle or riddle I couldn’t solve. I now have friends and am starting to date – very cautiously. I KNOW myself now most importantly and will never put aside myself and my needs and wants to cater to any man. Any man worthy of my time will be one who sees relationships as mutually nourishing and requiring both parties to have both feet in. I will never settle for someone disordered again.

TOWANDA is right! Yay for us!


The three Phases are what I affectionately call: The Cycle. My S woman over 27 years went through that cycle three different times. Each time the exact same way. They sure know how to play us lie a cheap violin, don’t they?


Dear Marcia,
thank you so much for telling and summing up so well your sad story. I recognized the exact stages in my actual fight with the “partner” with whom I was supposed to go into partnership in about 6 weeks. He for sure had a hidden agenda and was not telling his real goals from the start, and I tried very hard to play fair. He thought by obfuscating and twisting the arguments, pity play intermingeled with “caring for my wellbeing” he was setting me for the scam to come in a few years!

We had stage one for 9 months, where he offered me the blue from heaven! He said all the right things to lure me in, he offered a wonderful relationship and a fulfilling professional partnership, money and a bright future; it was the dream of my life had come true, no worries, not so much work and happily living till retirement.

Then- the shock- 3 months of tension building as he came forward with an outrageous offer the moment I had quit my old job and was looking for a new flat, 30 minutes short of me asking the bank for a loan! No partnership but lousily payed employee (“we do not know the future, do we? and so you will have at least SOME security, and you must keep your money for the future!”), BUT taking the same time ALL possible risks inavertedly with future hefty payment for my own work. Miserable payment, vague employment rules, lots of unsecurity with no proper preparations from his part, delays on every level.

My sister who is a lawyer specialized in contracts found this out two weeks ago and outlined it very clearly that it would be not acceptable. Fortunately nothing has been signed yet!

As I later questioned his offer he got sour by insulting my sister, he then called her embittered by men! That has nothing to do with the contract!!!

And he was telling me “think for yourself”and that I must NOT show the contract he will be sending me to a lawyer. He has not sent in anything so far, and in 6 weeks I am supposed to start working at his place.

When I go into partnership I KNOW the other is capable of thinking! But I also know my linitations, and these include recognizing pitfalls in contracts.

I was getting the documentation on partnerships from the medical association and the outline of a partnership was EXACTLY as my sister was telling us! So I can think for myself and must not show anything to a lawyer but just say no!

Phase three fortunately will not happen in full bloom, as my sister has dissected his psychobabble and his twisted arguments to be recognized even by me so I can now walk away safely! He will not be able to sue me but I can sue him if necessary, but I won’t! It is not worth the hassle. It gave me the courage to walk off my old unbearable working situation, and I will have time now to figure out what I really want! And in the meantime I can get highly payed substitute jobs, whenever I need money.

I have shattered another one of my great dreams of my life (next to wanting but not having children), furthermore I have lost already a considerable sum of my money and I will have a very unsecure future right now, and the rent of the new flat is the double of my old one!
But I will rely on Matt who is my lighthouse for not giving up! Thanks LF!


Hello all, another good article.That could be my story, spot on with the phases and deterioration.
Read with interest the parts where when she confronted him he exploded and became abusive, been there so many times, most notably when he throttled me and smashed my head on the floor several times for finding a text from another woman! Of all the indignities and abuse I endured it is that occasion that I can not get my head around. I would love to know the thinking process that went on to make him feel he was the injured party and should attack me.


Libelle – Whew. What a strange and wild ride! I am so glad you see him for what he is, and that you have had the support of your sister. I think you just got a booster shot! (and rid of the other horrid situation to boot)

i want to speak to the fear (or should i say the ‘certainty’) of losing another precious dream – this has been a very painful and moving part of my relationship with a spath too – mine involved both a lifestyle and work situation that i wanted, and children. somehow, having the spath reveal what i wanted so deeply, and then jerk it away made me feel certain that my only chance was now gone, and it seared my heart.

I remember first articulating the pain that this dream would ‘never’ happen. i was talking with a counselor, and i said that ‘no one will ever *care* for me’. (and age plays into this, especially with the children)

when i read your post, i realized that in the last few months, as i struggle to support myself (and am often a step away from being homeless) that that thing that felt so much like a ‘curse’, has lost some of its power with me.

there is a chasm between what i want and what i have. i realize that i may never have what i want, and maybe i can have some small measure of it, but i damn well am going to LAUGH and enjoy as much of life as possible.

life keeps pushing me – i keep trying to gain some traction with meeting my basic needs- all the while watching and wondering from behind this PTSD suit, what do i need to do to change things for myself at a fundamental level (whcih may lead to accessing the dream)?

i have to go slow, even though i wish to be going fast (so that i do everything possible NOT to end up on the street), but i am sick and the PTSD makes it so hard to go fast. so, i go slow, it is my only choice. and i try really hard to undo the criticism lodged in my brain because of my speed, and i am realizing that i have to be careful about who i am around for the rest of my life – I need to be open and authentic, and that is a hard sell right now. I can share poor and chronically ill more and more easily, but spathed is not so easy, yet.

my value lays in the fact of my humanity – not what i have, not that i meet my dreams or not, whether i am ill or not, whether i am able to use my mind or body the way i want to or not

my very best to you libelle. look for your dream. i think it still exists, you just have to find it again.

kim frederick

One step and Libelle, I am moved by how positive you both sound. I hear the sadness, and the uncertainty, but also hope. Libelle, maybe this will be your opportunity to study Art or Psychology, as you mentioned in a previous post, and One step, remeber, it was the tortous that won the race. Commitment and focus. You go, girl.


thank you so much kim 🙂


I have found this thread to be fascinating because in my ruminating about my relationship with my socio, I have always seen the distinct three phases of the relationship, which according to many of us, is a common tactic among our socio’s.
There seems to be a difference however in how these relationships end. It seems to be that either the socio abandons us for greener pastures, or we cannot get rid of them and have to go to extreme measures to pry them from our lives.

I wonder if that say’s anything about their specific pathological makeup?

After going through the distinct three phases with mine, she up and left, of course blaming me for the inadequacies in our relationship. Over the years, when reflecting about this to friends and family, many say that it was a blessing in diguise that she simply left and deleted me, although in my case, I had some abandonment issues with the passing of my wife which occured two years before I met the socio, and three years after the socio kicked me to the curb. In both cases, the relationship did not end on my terms, and I was left without closure. Although I admit that the clean cutting of the relationship with the socio by her doing was more humane in some ways then the continued stringing along of me and my son to satisfy her demented personal gratification of inflicting emotional pain and sitting back and watching me be confused and hurt by it, it did however give to me a deep sense of bad self esteem and unworthiness which lasted for a long time.

I can say that the thought of hiding from and being pursued by a socio (after you have made this assertion that they are indeed pathological) has to be a very scary and no less draining on your soul…. but I do think that there is a sort of trade off in that after you make this assertion that you no longer want to be in the relationship, the ball is in your court and from that point, it can end on your terms without going through any abandonment trauma.

It may be that in many of these situations, like mine, where the socio just leaves suddenly, that even though we know in some deep way that there is “something” wrong with them, but have not put the pieces together and have the knowledge of just what it is we are dealing with..(that was me)……

Any thoughts about this?

kim frederick

Southernman, by the time mine decided to leave me alone, I had been through the discard phase many times…with the inherent grief, confusion and sadness…then, to my joy, he would reappear, and start the process, again…OMG, what torture, and what a set-up to become absolutely crazy. When I finally was serious about ending it, I was pretty much incapable of doing so. He stalked me, climbed in my window, left messages with my friends, sent Birthday cards, until my resolve crumbled from exhaustion.
Finally, after seven years of this, he decided to move on. Heavy sigh of relief. I didn’t experience much grief at that point, only a clean breath of fresh air. I had had more than my share of the grief and confusion, though, before that point.
I had the good fortune of hitting the bottom, it sounds like you weren’t that fortunate…if you want to call it that…but the good news is we’re free. “FREE AT LAST. FREE AT LAST. THANK GOD, ALMIGHTY, FREE AT LAST.


Thank you Kim and One!

One, I can recommend a book to you from Sten Nadolny about slowliness. It is one of the most important books I ever read. That slowliness can be a very valuable asset and must not be a hinderance! It is a fictional biography about a polar scientist, but it is so well written as a crime story.

And you “sound” far better then you used to do, if I may write so. Maybe if we see ourselves in the mirror of the Spath we can see whether we want to go for the dream and at what pay. (I could go working for him, but fortunately I already know the prize I will have to pay in future and taht it will be ugly). And maybe the “Dream” itself is not a just aim to go for (I have no influence which scenario my subconcious choses from the abyss, whether I like the special effects or the script, and some are really horrible).

“there is a chasm between what i want and what i have. i realize that i may never have what i want, and maybe i can have some small measure of it, but i damn well am going to LAUGH and enjoy as much of life as possible.

life keeps pushing me ”“ i keep trying to gain some traction with meeting my basic needs- all the while watching and wondering from behind this PTSD suit, what do i need to do to change things for myself at a fundamental level (whcih may lead to accessing the dream)?

i have to go slow, even though i wish to be going fast (so that i do everything possible NOT to end up on the street), but i am sick and the PTSD makes it so hard to go fast. so, i go slow, it is my only choice. and i try really hard to undo the criticism lodged in my brain because of my speed, and i am realizing that i have to be careful about who i am around for the rest of my life ”“ I need to be open and authentic, and that is a hard sell right now. I can share poor and chronically ill more and more easily, but spathed is not so easy, yet.

my value lays in the fact of my humanity ”“ not what i have, not that i meet my dreams or not, whether i am ill or not, whether i am able to use my mind or body the way i want to or not”

This is just wonderful!!! Towanda to you, my dear One!


libelle – thank you for advancing my thinking about the ‘dream’ in your words about the aim and cost. this is an important advancement.

i will check out the book, also.

one step


About shattered dreams, role models etc:

the woman I picked for my role model at 16 (she was a doctor living in a cottage with her retired professor husband and lots of animals) had to give up medicine for alcohol reasons and died early. I got informed by a law firm about her death by returning my Christmas card. I became a doctor anyway and love it!

Father, my role model for a man, is a P. Period.

So I have to be careful not only with the dreams but also with the role models.

When we were in primary school the teacher read us a story about two brothers who were separated in WWII. One became a thief and the younger police officer. The Policeofficer catches the thief and discovers that it is his older brother. He crushes as he says that the thought “What had my older brother been doing in this an that situation” kept him on the just path, and he was now very disappointed! I do not remember whether he took him in or let him go, but it made a huge impression. It is important to have your own, chosen compass! And a compass is just for orientation, you still have to find the way as it always points north.

By the way there is a Slow movement in Europe, and specially the Slow food movement in Italy (as a reaction to Fast food in Rome) I am very fond of!


libelle – will cut and paste this part of this thread. 🙂

very well versed in the slow food movement. used to be a prof. cook and am very interested in food production, work in community gardens, etc.

Ox Drover

Dear Libelle,

I am soo sorry that your “partner” turned out to be a con-artist, but thanks to your sister for finding him out! Of course he was (in his view) “only trying to help you”—Yea, TRYING to get youi to sign a contract for HIS ADVANTAGE. LOL

Well, I don’t think you will starve and it DID get you away from the other toxic situation. So that is a BIG BLESSING! Maybe this is God’s way to telling you to take some TIME FOR YOURSELF. You’ve been under a lot of stress so maybe some “down time” will give you time to focus on YOU and take care of YOUR NEEDS!

I’m glad you caught on before you signed, and even if your sister is ann N, she did you a good turn, brought out the CROOK in him! ((((hugs))))) and God bless.


Dear Oxy and One, thanks a lot!

First I thought one moment or two about going to work for the “partner” to save our or better HIS face, but then I decided NO.

We had a long Ski-weekend Friday Saturday with the hospital crew! I was on the skilift one-on-one with my biggest boss (the one who likes me), and as he asked me about my future I could explain to him everything, the breach of the verbal agreement and the compromise of my sister, and even he said that to him it sounded fair and balanced, and he was a little worried about my future without immediate job to follow. He is also high on N-traits but very influencial in our medical association. He was very open as well and told me about his difficult times with the divorce and his children (he had his secretary as mistress and all collapsed last year). I just listened. Maybe he can correct any smear campaign against me (but I will not bet on THAT)

I enjoyed the skiing a lot, and had a great time (the bigot colleague had to attend an ethics course, and the others had to stay at the hospital). So no enemies, just relaxing and enjoying!

One: is there a Slow food thing in your area? You might check it out, as they are very avantgarde, and it is definitely NOT toxic by definition! I cross my fingers! Lots of loveXXXX (((Hugs)))

Ox Drover

Dear Libelle,

Well if your N-boss (that at least acts like he likes you) was having an affair and it blew up on him, I am sure he was very “sad” (at getting caught!) Maybe he will keep down the smear campaign but with those people, you know, I’ll show you how LONG their “loyalty” lasts. Get a bucket of water and ball up your fist and put it into the water. Then QUICK, pull it out and LOOK AT HOW LONG THE HOLE IN THE WATER WHERE YOUR FIST WAS LASTS! That is how long the “loyalty” of these people lasts! LOL ROTFLMAO

Glad you had some fun skiing though! Did the bigot have to go to the ethics class cause he was a “bad boy/girl?”


You raise the question of the thinking process of why he would percieve that he was the “injured” party and attack you after you confronted him about text messages from another woman.
Because that is what they do. They don’t “fess up”. They don’t accept responsibility. They don’t tell the truth.
They use circular conversation to take the focus off of them and put it onto you.

He recieves text messages from another woman. You ask him (logical question) about these text.
He turns this all on you rather than sticking to the matter at hand.
IF YOU would just TRUST him…Blah Blah.
If YOU wouldn’t always be “looking” for trouble blah, blah.
If You……..would just…..blah, blah.
You can try and wrap your brain around this kind of thinking all day long….It just doesn’t make sense.
They have a distorted thought process of rationalizing away the truth. And it is exhausting and never ending.
And now its all your fault, for finding the text messages.

Muld00n, every time you post here I am so relieved to see that you are ok, but so VERY sad to see that you are still in this violent relationship. I keep hoping that you will post and say that you have kicked him to the curb.

You do know that he will never change? And that your life is at stake…..
If anyone has seen the pattern of the cycle of abuse, I am pretty sure you can see that there is the, honeymoon phase, anxiety phase, (walking on eggshells) and then the violent phase always follows.
It will ALWAYS be your fault in his thought process. Always.
He doesn’t think “normal”.
You are the only one that can save yourself and your children.
And he has damaged your thinking as well. His damage goes far beyond the physical abuse. He has you thinking that you need him somehow. He has you addicted to him, as if he were a drug. He is a VERY BAD man.
Do you have anyone in real life that can offer you support?
Can you tell us why you stay? Are you more afraid what he will do if you leave? Have you considered a womans shelter?

Please stay safe.


You raise an interesting question – whether it is better to be dropped by the PSYCHOPATH or whether it is better to end it yourself as the healthy partner who needs out. I can’t say which situation is better having not experienced both. I had to end it with the PSYCHOPATH and he bounced back into my life wringing pity and shame from me like the dirty creature he is. I felt so guilty at his faked pain from my ending the ‘relationship’ that I paid his bills, took him groceries and cooked and cleaned for him. Eventually he started pressuring me for sex as well but I knew that would blur and complicate the issue so stayed well away from that avenue. More than likely that was his agenda all along – to have us split and him able to use me for whatever he wanted including sex.

I read an interesting perspective though at a website called Baggage Reclaim – the author stated that when a man is emotionally unavailable he has effectively ended the relationship even though he hasn’t verbalised it and is prompting us to take the action of verbally ending it for both of us.

From this perspective it could be said that by their very nature of selfishness and unavailability that PSYCHOPATHS always dump the healthy person even if t hey keep them in the relationship for years after the mask is dropped to drain their vital essence and life blood.

For me, the experience of ending it has been very very hard. I not only had the grief of accepting he would never change and ending it, then subsequently realising he is a PSYCHOPATH, I have had to do every physical action to separate all ties – all he has to do is turn up and sign or collect the boxes after I have had to sort through all our joint possessions. I have had to draft all the legal paperwork with my lawyer because it is me initiating it and it is me who will have to file for divorce.. That’s exhausting after years of being drained and very hard emotionally to take.

In addition, he moved onto a new relationship within six weeks of leaving the house for the last time. Painful doesn’t even cover it. Here I am left trying to recover from this while he just gets on with life as though nothing happened. She’s even the age I was when we met – it’s like I have just been replaced. There is no time in his life for being alone and reflecting on what happened – no time to heal and grieve about our big relationship – no that work is left to me alone. Just as I was alone in the entire relationship.

I know many people here have had the P leave for an affair partner. Whilst my P did not have an affair (that I know of) the shortness of time between her and I makes me understand some of the pain those people feel. It’s like we don’t matter – none of our pain mattered to the P – we were just there to fill a role like an employee and anyone will do – hugely hurtful.

One step – you DO sound positive – keep going up! Maybe while you’re heading for the big dream, you’ll find a way to have children in your life in the meantime. I have a couple of friends who wanted children and didn’t get to have them – one became a fine teacher and another volunteers to spend time with children at risk – it fulfills part of that need to nurture. Just a thought for now – not a replacement for what you want and keep heading for the big dream 🙂


Marcia (and All),

Geez, anytime you might feel as if you are doubting your version of reality, go back and read what you have shared with us here. You did an amazingly beautiful job of spelling out your experience (and mine as well!). It is so continuously eerie to me how even though details change from story to story, it is still always the same. Sometime back someone wrote it was like a box of chocolates (thanks Forest Gump!), all different shapes and colors, but all filled with the same inedible crap.

First he lovebombed you and got you so Oxytocin’d up you couldn’t help getting attached. But he doesn’t get attached, he can’t. He only gets a brief and temporary rush, that doesn’t produce anything ‘lasting’. Doesn’t produce the right chemicals in his body. He doesn’t feel good and connected, more loving, bonded after sexing you up. But he feels a temporary explosion of power and control; this appears to be the reinforcement of the spatholes. I don’t know enough about the biology of emotion and motivation, but I would guess that these types are addicted to the rush of dopamine, adrenaline, and norepi? Dunno. But they must get some kind of physiological kick, much the same, but producing very different outcomes, from our own responses to Oxytocin (and whatever other bonding/feel good chemicals are released through close human contact).

Then they withdraw. Same excuses: too busy, tired, down, stressed. We have become ‘real’, and asserted our ‘selves’ into their game. Of course we just ARE real, it’s not anything we have DONE. But, this is a huge buzzkill for them. And they do, in a way, go flaccid. So then it looks to me like they go for the ‘drama-high’, the fleeting rush they get from causing us emotional pain and real-life chaos (debt, disease, loss of home/children, etc…). And that works for awhile. Then that gets boring too.

Then perhaps they just dump us and move on; or they move on to the ‘rush’ of violence (one of escalating verbal/physical/emotional, or any combination there of). They are ‘getting off’ on our escalating pain….more power and control. They can MAKE us lose it. Everything.

Oh, and then they get bored again. Always they get bored.

So then they either start over with their current target or move to the next victim. Most likely both.

It makes me really sad, this disorder. Not sad as in wanting or needing to do anything for the disordered individual; we don’t appear to be living in a time that provides us the opportunity to help them outright. But it still makes me sad, for them, in their sick isolation and cruelty; and for us as targets for their abuse.

I would love to live long enough to see science make a real breakthrough in treating psychopathy. It would eliminate so many societal and personal ills.

I digress…thank-you for posting, and take tender care of yourself.



Hi Witsend…Yes of course I know..Life isnt so bad at the moment because all the stuff here and on baggage reclaim have educated me, but I am aware that he remains at heart an arsehole with self serving needs only.Im only here now for my own ends, I dont fight it out I withdraw at the first sign of trouble and it seems to have thrown him off balance and taken alot of the venom out of him….actually I dont know why I am here if I am honest.Maybe its because the good outweighs the bad now but I am not unaware of the potential evil in him/
No family nor friends as very early on was isolated from everyone around me.
I admit I am kinda scared of a new life, Im not happy with my lot but Im at home with it if you know what I mean, its familiar…Lived it from childhood.
SO out of curiousity do these creatures know they are deflecting when they attack us for catching them out or do they feel justified?


while I am around….isnt it ironic that these idiots use sympathy and try to illicit pity for them as part of their mode of operandi yet they are unable to emapthise with anyone else even those suffering at their hands…Brass necked cheek is another of their attributes it seems to me.


I would think that yes they do feel justified. For everything they do. Because they hold no accountability for their actions. It is always someone elses fault.
They can say the words afterwords and say it won’t happen again, but there is no meaning behind the words.

I do understand that you feel familiar in the enviornment that you are living. Because that is what you knew as a child.
But this is the very reason that you don’t want your children to grow up with thinking that this is the way it is supposed to be.

It is not uncommon for women to marry versions of their father. I know I did. But it is important to go back and relive the experience, when you were a child. Think about how helpless you felt as a child when your father was abusive towards your mother. Walking on eggshells, never knowing what might set him off.
This is not the way you or your children deserve to live. You deserve so much better.


You are absolutely right, My husband is uncanningly like my father in looks and temperment, but I actually do not like my father so its a bit wierd.
Horrifungly this morning as reading I realised worse still I am insipid like my mother! I am treading the sme worn path she once did and sometimes even at 80 still does.


Being ”lovebombed” is such a good description, my S didn’t ask me to be his wife – when he first met me – he told me! The pity play quickly followed, they are so textbook, and all followed suit as it has done for everyone here. Trying to get rid of him wasn’t an easy task and he became threatening, leaving tons of messages on my phone if I didn’t. I ignored them, after that he phoned my friends telling them I had ruined his life and he wanted me in court. My friend was with me once when he had a call and the S just droned on and on saying how he wanted Me prosecuted for harassment! I found, when I phoned the police, that he had been calling them every day! Thankfully the police put a stop to his calls, how, I don’t know but thankfully it worked and, although I spot him in the high street, he leaves me alone. I have found out from people who I have known for years in my locality, that he owes them all money and have told them not to give him a penny – he told me and actually showed me ‘court’ papers, that he had won against the city of New York, $40,000 dollars and yet walks around without a penny ever to his name! Oh the lies, the gas-lighting, telling me I was crazy.. and the rages, the sorry’s that he knows he can get ”a little crazy but really he’s a good guy, the best I’ll ever meet” I fell for his New York accent, his charm, he was so charismatic, If I have the misfortune to see him when I’m out shopping I catch brief glimpses of people’s faces, looking in awe at him like he’s some kind of awesome God, its soo cringeable.. I want to scream, yell at them just what he really is and tell them he’s pure poison, he sickens me. He went to the most amazing lengths to prove all he told me.. I never realised he was all a mirage, I had never encountered anyone like it and I hope I can now read the warning signs, all those red flags so I never meet another one again. Why oh why doesn’t television make us aware of such sick and evil people, show us that they are not just murderers, like I thought they were? That they masquerade and walk around us looking like normal people..


Hi All,

Just catching up here:

Midlife, you said Sunday, 14 March 2010 @ 3:10am – that he got you both on anti-D’s – – then HE stopped taking his; that’s what mine *tried* to do with me.

I agree with this “article” and how “Marcia” described the phases and the whole experience – very well put.

I ended up taking the bottle containing my last anti-D Rx (out of the 4 different types that I had been prescribed over several year’s time) BACK to the Dr. on the follow-up visit (after sleeping 23 hours a day for 6 weeks – and gaining 20 lbs.!!) … and politely told the Dr. *to use them as suppositories* (in other words, I told Dr to shove them up his A**!!! – the Rx wasn’t/weren’t for helping ME ~ they were helping “him: “THE NSP-jerk” I was with).

Got rid of him (the jerk), and my-oh-my ~ how my stress level plummeted to almost zero ~ YAY!

I will share with LF readers my little saying that might help “depressed folks:” (but, please, don’t stop taking YOUR meds because of what I tell ya, but…consider it…borrow it if you like)

“I’ve been SUPpressed, REpressed, and OPpressed, but never really DEpressed.”

I’ve NEVER had the chemical imbalance that causes depression – just the situational experiences that led to feeling used, abused, lied to, cheated on, and feeling crappy about myself, based on the “devalue and discard” phase.

It’s been “situational” ~ and as soon as I got up the *&alls* to finally cut the NSP’s out of my life and broke free of them well, JEE-WHIZ – wow – I feel better already!

Once the C-SOI (constant source of irritation) was out of my life, things went along just FINE…lol

It’s worth thinking about, especially since anytime I was dissatisfied with a relationship, it was because of these same “three phases,” and the jerx (in the plural – and for over a decade of my life), were just that: “NarciSocioPsycho” users.

Classes are in final push for WQ – looking at *hopefully* High B’s and A’s in all of them ~ wish me luck, fellow LF members, please…

~Cheers all~

kim frederick

Jewels, Even though I highly recommend anti-Ds for people truley suffering from the depression that comes from altered brain chemisty, I also agree whole-heartedly with you. Absolutely. I think they can dull you out, numb you out, and inadvertantly aid the P’s in our lives…I think that sometimes, women are over-medicated, and thus quieted, rendered less problematic to the medical community, as well.
Thank-you for reminding me of this, and bringing it up.

kim frederick

Oh, and good luck on exams. You go girl.


Hi Marcia,

I read your story. It is very simialar to mine with the whole bttering up phase. My P said almost all the same things to me in the beginning. His favorite thing to say to me was “A friend of mine told me if I just stopped looking then the woman of my dreams would walk right into my life, and that’s exactly what happened. Now you are you here and you are the woman of my dreams.” And for the first 4 or 5 months he told me how beautiful, sexy, intelligent I was. How he admired me for leaving my first husband when I had two kids and really took a big risk financailly, etc., etc. I think the one line that really hooked me and that I fell for hook, line and sinker was when we first kissed and he said “I haven’t kissed a woman like that in a long time.”. OMG!! Then I found out about how many women he had been dating (i.e. having sex with) at the same time “before” me. When I questioned him about these woman, he said they didn’t mean anything but also accused me of being insecure, blah, blah, blah. He turned it on me.

Our relationship begain in the Fall of 2005. I am now divorcing him – filed in November 2009 and kicked him out. I would probably have taken the emotional abuse longer and tried to fix and change myself for him if he had not had an affair with a 20 year old which of course he lied about when I first confronted him and continues to lie about. In fact, in Jan he wanted to work on us. He said all the right things to “win” me back. I fell for for it, but wanetd to take it really slow. After he declared his love again, he suggested another busines deal. Talk about deja vu. I couldn’t believe it. I said no to the business deal but was still willing to work on it with him. He strung me a long for a few more weeks and then dumped me. He said I put too much pressure on him regarding how he had to behave to build my trust in him again. See how this works? It’s my fault. I put to much pressure on him. He’s the one who had the affair and he doesn’t want to do the work or just plain old do the right thing to gain my trust back – but it’s my fault. I was devasted all over again. I wanted to believe he could change. He can’t. He is the lie. Everything these guys do and say is dishonest because they are the lie.

I am left with 65K of credit card debt which we used to finance his business ventures. He devasted me emotionally, mentally and financially. I knew I’d be left with the debt, but I had to get out. I don’t understand myself though. I still miss him or think I miss him. I don’t even like him – he is not a nice person. It’s not like I am losing this great guy. He’s selfish and cruel and out for sex, power and money, that is clear. Yet, I still pine sometimes.

I liked what “midlifecrisis” said:

“From this perspective it could be said that by their very nature of selfishness and unavailability that PSYCHOPATHS always dump the healthy person even if t hey keep them in the relationship for years after the mask is dropped to drain their vital essence and life blood.”

If this is true, and I think it is, he dumped me a long time ago – right after he got the first 35K from me in 2006 to finance a vending business. He kept me around to bleed more out of me – and he did. Eventually, though, it seems that in all these relationships, the real cruelty and callousness comes out either in affairs or violence. Then we are ones that end it.

I was just so taken by how he made me feel so special and loved that I did not see the con coming. I really didn’t want to see the con because I wanted that euphoria to last and I believed a lie – that these feelings could last forever. But it’s not real. That’s not real love. I am working on becoming a person who will not be taken in by the con anymore and who embraces authentic love as opposed to that romantic euphoric dream like state.


Wow, I share so many experinces simlilar to Marcia’s. It’s almost uncanny!

“He would send me fifty text messages a day telling me how much he loved me and how much he missed me and how even exchanging text messages he would be aroused, and how he was so attracted to me. He would bring me roses, buy me jewelry, music, wine, etc.”

Just like her I could not do wrong in his eyes, I was perfect for him. I was the one and only for him. BIG red flag. He said these things before even knowing me. He would write my name on a piece of paper 200x. Creepy. Gifts and more gifts. I would go overseas for holiday and he would fedex me gifts, even though I was only there for 10 days. He just could not get enough of me. I never felt more flattered in my life, I felt like finally someone saw the “real” me. I guess he knew I needed that type of outside validation to feel my worth. He targeted me because he knew that I did not have a solid sense of self and I would eat up his flattery with a big spoon.

“In the tension-building phase, our sex life suddenly went from what I would rate 10 out of 10 to 1 out of 10. This was so sudden and so drastic that I suspected he might have developed erectile dysfunction. He no longer initiated having sex with me and when I did, 9 out of 10 times he would say he was “tired.” Other excuses included being “busy” or “depressed.”

OMG, I could have written that word to word. As soon as we moved in together he refused to have sex. When I tried gently to talk about it, he would explode and say things like “sex is overrated” or ” I am too busy or I am depressed”. In retrospect it makes me cringe, I actually begged him to have sex with me. My self esteem was non existent. He refused, and sometimes he would agree to it, only if we watched porn first and he would watch the porn while we were doing it. I later found out he was into disability and amputee fetish.

“Regardless of how legitimate my question or concern was, his very first reaction was always becoming defensive and turning things around and attacking me. This was always followed by a few days of completely shutting me off, not contacting me and even ignoring me when I reached out. Early on in our relationship, after a couple of days, he would contact me and apologize for his reaction. But after the honeymoon phase, the days he would shut me out became longer and longer and no apology was offered. Instead, over time he would build up a grudge and become punitive. In response to many red flags in his behavior, he would accuse me of being insecure, having fear-based reactions, having no impulse control, blowing small things up to huge problems, being depressed, being anxious, not exercising enough, at one time sleeping too much, in another time sleeping too little, lack of self-confidence, etc. At the end he said I was crazy, I was fucked up, I had taken joy out of his life, I had brought negative energy into his life, I had made him depressed, he was not excited to see me anymore, he did not want to be around me and he wanted me out of his life.”

This is almost identical too. This is how the ex-s in my life reacted too. He refused to discuss anything. He would punish me with silent treatment. He would endlessly make cutting, backhanded remarks about the way I looked, talked and handled my life. He has taken over all responsibilities in the house since I could not do anything as well as he could. He would say that I was crazy, off balance, emotional wreck, just like my mother etc. He would treat my with dismay. Meanwhile he brought a woman home drunk on our anniversary night, he would not showed up to dinner and he was more and more absent, he would keep me waiting then he would tell me I was needy. When I tried talking to him about the problems, he said that there were no problems in his opinion.
The one day he broke up with me and dumped a slew of accusations and judgments on me calling me lazy, lifeless lackluster and pathetic. He gave me a whole list of why I suck, but weeks before he said we had no problems in the relationship. Well, try to figure that out….
Later I found out that he was screwing his current wife 2 years before we split. Also I think there were other women too, but I can never be certain.


Greenfern – I can’t be certain he wasn’t cheating either but there was never anything I out about – I wouldn’t put it past him though after seeing all the lies and deceptions. Mine treated me in the final phases like you as well with the silent treatment.

It had begun a long time before that – if I wanted to discuss anything he didn’t he would just refuse to contribute and then say he had to think about it and would get back to me in a few days. When I would ask him about it later he would say he had forgotten about it and needed more time to think OR that he never said he would think about it and had nothing to contribute. Anything to keep me off balance. Towards the very end though this silent treatment became rudely overt – he would storm off if I said something he didn’t like, eventually locking himself in a room or leaving the property and driving off somewhere. He would also refuse to answer his phone and wouldn’t answer messages.

I highly recommend the book Stalking the Soul – the author effectively outlines the stages of emotional abuse – which she terms ‘soul murder’ = she also recognises that the aim of it is ‘murder by suicide’. She outlines the seduction, covert violence and overt violence phases – these are really the three we are collectively referring to.

Like you I was blamed for everything and as a normal person have a little self doubt within me – he didn’t. He refused to even listen to the things I said he was doing to me – he wouldn’t even consider them for a second. But I WAS definitely all the things he said I was – a flirt, a slut, a depressive, a perpetual victim. It is an unfair fight when one person is willing to scrutinise themselves and the other is not. He won time after time.

Tryingtoheal – my PSYCHOPATH ex is also in debt with many organisations – I don’t know how he holds his head up in fact – he should be hanging it in shame with the mess he has made of his finances. Somehow he manages to hold onto the things he financed and spin some story to the credit agencies to give him more time. He has ruined his credit rating and I have the firm belief that if I had stayed with him, mine would be ruined too and he would probably aim to bankrupt me.

Jewels – Yes I can see that anti depressants are good for some situations, but I had the sense that taking them was just making me stay there with him in a false sense of reality so I stopped too – they made me want to sleep all the time as well. I knew it was the upheaval in the relationship that was causing the pain but didn’t feel strong enough at that time to end it unfortunately.

Mjlyness – mine fleeced me for tens of thousands as well and has left me holding all the debts with nothing to show for it. He ran up thousands on credit cards for nothing – certainly not business deals. He could fritter money like nobody I have ever seen before – could easily spend hundreds a week on entertainment and fast food. Of course he expected me to take care of all the bills and keep the house ticking over. I never had any money for myself ever.


-midlifecrisis- it looks like my local library carries Stalking the Soul. I will check it out! Thanks for recommending it!

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